Shreyas Iyer produced a stunning innings, scoring 96 from 57 deliveries, to guide Delhi Daredevils to a two-wicket win over Gujarat Lions at Green Park, Kanpur on Wednesday.
Chasing 196, things didn't start particularly well for the Daredevils as they lost the wickets of Sanju Samson [10 off 7 balls] and Rishabh Pant [4 off 2 balls] with just 15 runs on the board.
Pant, especially, will be very disappointed by his manner of dismissal as he carelessly wandered outside his crease while refusing a run. By the time he had realised his mistake, Suresh Raina had run the young wicketkeeper-batsman out.
Karun Nair [30 off 15 balls] and Iyer then joined hands and got Delhi back into the match as they put together a 57-run partnership for the third wicket. The duo batted at a quick pace which helped the visitors keep up with a high required run-rate.
Delhi, then suffered a bit of a slump as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals with the brilliant Ravindra Jadeja being a real asset for Gujarat in the field. Jadeja is considered as one of the best fielders in the world and his two direct hits saw Marlon Samuels [1 off 4 balls] and Corey Anderson [6 off 6 balls] heading back to the pavillion.
After going from 72-2 to 121-6, Pat Cummins [24 off 13 balls] joined Iyer in the middle and the duo put on a 61-run partnership from just 27 balls to put Delhi on the front foot.
Iyer is rated as one of the most outstanding young batsmen in Indian cricket and his sublime innings here showed us why. He was unlucky to miss out on a maiden Indian Premier League [IPL] century after hitting 15 fours and two sixes.
The late wickets of Cummins and Iyer produced a tense finish, but Amit Mishra was on hand to hit two fours off two deliveries to complete Delhi's fifth win of the season.
Earlier, a fantastic knock from Aaron Finch [69 off 39 balls] helped the Lions post a total of 195-5 in their 20 overs.
The Australian batsman found able support from Dinesh Karthik [40 off 28 balls] as the experienced pair added 92 runs for the fourth wicket after Gujarat had lost their top three within the first seven overs.
Ishan Kishan, opening the innings again, also played a handy knock for the hosts. The 18-year-old hit a 25-ball 34, but the fall of wickets early on did not help the Lions' cause.
With this loss, Gujarat have now failed to win any of the seven matches that they have batted first in this season.
Unsurprisingly, it was Iyer who was named as the Player of the Match.
This win has helped Delhi overtake Gujarat into sixth place on the points table as they now have 10 points from 12 matches. On the other hand, the Lions have eight points from 13 games.
Gujarat Lions 195-5, 20 overs [Finch 69, Karthik 40, Mishra 1-27] lost to Delhi Daredevils 197-8, 19.4 overs [Iyer 96, Nair 30, Faulkner 2-39] by two wickets.
Player of the Match - Shreyas Iyer.